Sweet Dreams – Rediscovering ‘The House of the Yellow Carpet’ /La Casa del Tappeto Giallo (Italy 1983 – 87 mins)

Rediscover ‐ November 21, 2014

A clever though sadly overlooked psychological thriller that gets better as it goes along, ‘The House of the Yellow Carpet’ is a highly entertaining puzzle that slowly falls into place and features a pleasing plot twist…….. Or two!

After advertising some valuable carpeting for sale, Antonio’s wife Franca receives a visit from a mysterious gentleman who is keen to view the carpet. The elderly visitor soon reveals to Franca that he has recently been released from prison for murdering his wife. He also seems to know a lot about her and, after locking all the doors and windows, slowly reveals to …

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Hollywood’s favourite Character actor – Harry Davenport (1866 – 1949)

Rewind ‐ November 19, 2014

With an acting career spanning an incredible 78 years, and with a twinkle in his eye, Harry Davenport specialised in playing doctors, judges, favourite uncles and grandfathers. Coming from a long line of performers, he was a prolific stage actor, and made his screen debut when he was 43 years old.

Born Harold George Bryant Davenport on January 19th 1866, Harry Davenport first trod the boards when he was just five years old, though it wasn’t until 1914, at the age of 43 that he made his first appearance in film, in the comedy short ‘Too Many Husbands’. The previous year …

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“If you go down to the woods today” – Rediscovering ‘Just Before Dawn’ (US 1981 – 102 mins)

Rediscover ‐ November 18, 2014

An above average take on a plot we’ve seen a thousand times, the suspenseful slasher ‘Just Before Dawn’, has rightfully gone from a sleeper to a minor cult over the years. It has a genuine air of dread and is both competently acted and quite beautifully shot.

Five campers; Warren (Gregg Henry) his girlfriend Connie (Deborah Benson), Jonathan (Chris Lemmon) and his girlfriend Megan (Jamie Rose) and Jonathan’s brother Daniel (Ralph Seymour), arrive in the Oregon mountains to check out a property one of them has inherited. After warnings by the local ranger (George Kennedy), are ignored, they start meeting their …

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Dark, Dangerous and Deadly – Remembering Rosanna Schiaffino (1939 – 2009)

Remember ‐ November 14, 2014

Seductive, dark-haired Italian beauty Rosanna Schiaffino never quite made the big time, but she co-starred in an array of features from both Europe and Hollywood, working with some of the finest directors along the way. A talented actress, she brought glamour and flair to a host of European adventures and popular Art-house features.

Born in Genoa, Italy on November 25th 1939, Rosanna was a teenage beauty queen, then model before being propelled into movies and dubbed the ‘Italian Hedy Lamarr’. A promising start came in Francesco Rosi’s realistic drama ‘The Challenge’, where Rosanna gave a sensitive portrayal of a real-life Neapolitan …

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“I Wanna Be Loved By You” – Rediscovering ‘Poupoupidou’ / ‘Nobody Else But You’ (France 2011 – 102 mins)

Rediscover ‐ November 12, 2014

“Only parts of us will ever touch parts of others” – Norma Jean Baker

A fairly recent movie, the multi-layered French feature ‘Nobody Else But You’ came and went without much notice outside of its native France. With its snowy setting and quirky characters, it slightly resembled ‘Fargo’, but with a ‘Twin Peaks’ air of mystery to it. Centering on the mysterious death of a Marilyn Monroe obsessive along with parallels to the real Monroe, it kept me riveted throughout.

While vacationing in Mouthe, the coldest town in France, writer David Rousseau (Jean-Paul Rouve) is intrigued by the death of beautiful local …

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Teenage Rhapsody – Rediscovering ‘The Constant Nymph’ (US 1943 – 112 mins)

Rediscover ‐ November 10, 2014

Considering the talent involved, the terrific romancer ‘The Constant Nymph’ should have had more of a lasting legacy. Although it has many devoted fans, it remains surprisingly unknown. It’s a wonderful drama laced with humour, tears, and a superb performance by Joan Fontaine.

After his latest symphony fails to impress, famed composer Lewis Dodd (Charles Boyer) decides to visit his dear friend Albert Sanger (Montagu Love) in Switzerland. Sanger’s four daughters idolize Lewis, especially fourteen year old Tessa (a pig-tailed Joan Fontaine) who has always had a crush on him. After their father dies, the younger of the children; Tessa (Fontaine) …

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Destination Unknown – Rediscovering ‘The Telephone Box’ / ‘La Cabina’ (Spain 1972 – 35 mins)

Rediscover ‐ November 07, 2014
Destination Unknown – Rediscovering ‘The Telephone Box’ / ‘La Cabina’ (Spain 1972 – 35 mins)

One of the best and certainly most memorable short movies ever made, the Emmy award winning ‘La Cabina’ is a Spanish masterpiece that begins more like a silent comedy, but by the end turns into a living nightmare.

Its broad daylight in the middle of a busy precinct, a nameless company installs a new phone box in the town square. A nondescript man (José Luis López Vázquez) walks by the phone box whose door is slightly ajar. He curiously enters and, as he begins to use the phone, the door slowly closes behind him, trapping him inside. After attempting to …

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Stranger in the Night – Rediscovering ‘Miriam’ (US 1969 – 31 mins)

Rediscover ‐ November 05, 2014

The rarely seen anthology film ‘Trilogy’, by famed writer Truman Capote, tells three diverse tales of loneliness and companionship. While the second and especially third segments are also enjoyable, it was the films first memorable story which I found to be the highlight.

Entitled ‘Miriam’, it tells the sometimes amusing but ultimately creepy tale of a busy-body chatterbox called Miriam Miller, an elderly spinster who lives a lonely life in her apartment with only her beloved parrot to talk to. A former nanny who surrounds herself with photos of past acquaintances, she is the type of overbearing old lady that people …

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Wired for Sound – Rediscovering ‘Grand Slam’/Ad Ogni Costo (Italy 1967 – 121 mins)

Rediscover ‐ November 03, 2014

A colourful heist movie with an international cast, the little-seen sleeper ‘Grand Slam’ is a long but never boring caper flick. At two hours it manages to hold the viewers interest and has the added bonus of featuring a marvellous twist ending.

Bored with his job, James Anders (Edward G. Robinson) an American professor working in Brazil, puts together a chosen team to pull off a daring $10 million diamond heist during the Rio de Janeiro Carnival. A group of international experts, including a London safe-cracker and an Italian mechanical wiz, are brought together to carry out the break-in. The team …

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Quiet American – Remembering Janet Margolin (1943 – 1993)

Remember ‐ October 27, 2014

A dark-haired beauty (she sometimes reminded me of Anna Karina) and rather reserved, the much under-rated Janet Margolin was always somebody worth watching. A gifted actress from Broadway, she was adept at both comedy and drama and turned in some fine performances in exciting projects.

Born in New York on July 25th 1943, Janet graduated from the New York High School of Performing Arts, and was performing on Broadway when she was just 18. Discovered shortly after by acclaimed director Frank Perry, Janet was soon cast in one of her most memorable movies.

Making an impressive movie debut in Perry’s emotional drama …

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